In-Depth Depth Chart – Tight Ends


Previously postedQuarterbacksRunning backsWide Receivers

Tight End / H-Back / Fullback … 

Fall “Pencil” Depth Chart:

1. Chris Bounds, Jr.

2. Jared Poplawski, Soph. … OR … Darrion Jones, Jr. .. OR … Brady Russell, R-Fr.

5. Derek Coleman, Soph.


By the Numbers (2017):

— Chris Bounds … 7 receptions for 168 yards

— Darrion Jones … 41 receptions for 795 yards and five touchdowns (sophomore year at Los Angeles Harbor College)



Reasons to be excited:

Darrin Chiaverini is driving the bus

This could be the start of something special.

Darrin Chiaverini was co-offensive coordinator last season, but fellow co-coordinator Brian Lindgren called the plays.

This fall, Chiaverini, who also serves as CU’s wide receivers coach, it taking over.

“We will be a little different,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said about the 2018 CU offense. “We don’t have (Phillip Lindsay), so that makes you a little different right there.

“I’m excited about what we’re doing on offense and how we’re doing it.”

“We have a really good offensive room and we’re excited about the guys that we have on our roster on the offensive side of the ball,” Chiaverini told the Daily Camera. “Now it’s our job as coaches to get the details of our system down so they can go out there and play fast.”

And it’s not as if Chiaverini is flying blind. This past off-season, MacIntyre brought in Kurt Roper to coach the Buff quarterbacks. Roper just happens to have nine years’ experience as an offensive coordinator at three ACC and SEC schools (Duke, Florida, South Carolina).

“Working with coach Roper has been awesome,” Chiaverini said. “He’s called plays. He knows what’s been good for him, what’s been bad for him’.

It’s a risk, having a first-time play-caller in charge of your offense.

But with a new signal-caller, you have the opportunity to involve different play-makers, including the tight ends.

Now that’s a risk most Buff fans are willing to take …


Chris Bounds is ready … and has competition

Junior Chris Bounds led the Buff tight ends last season, with seven catches for 102 yards.

This fall, that number should increase from embarrassing to productive.

“We’re doing a lot of stuff out there,” said Bounds said during the first week of Fall Camp. “Some of the same stuff as last year, and then some different things. We’re working in the running game, working in the passing game, working in the screen game — they definitely have us moving around a little more, which is great. Honestly, I think that’s all I can ask for — just a chance to help the team in any way we can.”

Competing with Bounds for playing time and catchable passes are junior college transfer Darrion Jones and sophomore Jared Poplawski.

Jones played in 17 games for Los Angeles Harbor College the past two seasons, totaling 55 receptions for 973 yards and eight touchdowns. He comes to Boulder as the 6th-highest rated junior college tight end in the nation.

Poplawski, meanwhile, played right out of the gates to open his Colorado career as a true freshman last year, appearing in five out of the first six games of the season. Poplawski played in a total of nine games last year before tearing the ACL in his left knee in the USC game, undergoing season ending surgery last November. Poplawski missed the spring, but has made it back onto the field this fall.

Even redshirt freshman walk-on Brady Russell is having a solid camp. Russell turned heads several times last year when some nice catches in fall camp, and continued to play well on the scout team throughout the fall.

“Brady’s a young man who’s done really well for us,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “(He) helped us on special teams and at tight end. He’s also working on long snapping. There’s a lot of different things Brady can do. I’ve been very proud of Brady. He’ll travel and help us this year.”

Still, if you are going to be a tight end / H-back / Fullback at the University of Colorado, you have to remain humble … at least until the coaching staff can discover your ability to help the team by catching the ball.

“Ever since I got here, the whole tight end group has been playing for the team,” Bounds said. “Whatever we can do, that’s great. If I can catch the ball more and that helps the team, great. If I can block more and that helps the team, great. Whatever it is — I just want to win games.”


Reasons for concern:

— Numbers don’t lie

Colorado leading receivers (tight ends), in the first five years under Mike MacIntyre:

2013 … Scott Fernandez … 9 catches for 97 yards; one touchdown
2014 … Kyle Slavin … 11 catches for 111 yards; no touchdowns
2015 … Sean Irwin … 15 catches for 248 yards; no touchdowns
2016 … Three players tied with … 1 catch apiece (Bounds, Hill, Keeney)

and …

2017 … Chris Bounds … seven catches for 102 yards; two touchdowns

Now, for all of the above seasons, Brian Lindgren was the offensive coordinator calling the plays. Lindgren has taken his play-calling prowess to Oregon State, with Darrin Chiaverini taking over.

Still, until the numbers change … the more they remain the same.


Bottom Line … The tight end position may become a pleasant surprise for the Buff Nation this fall.

Its been six years since Colorado had a tight end with more than 20 catches in a season, and more than two touchdowns (remember Nick Kasa?).

It would be a surprise – make that a disappointment – if Chris Bounds (or Darrion Jones … or both) reach those numbers this fall.

Granted, the Colorado receiving corps is the strength of the team, with the two-deep roster at wide receiver the closest the Buffs have to Top 25 caliber.

Yet use of the tight ends will only enhance the ability of the wide receivers to get open. The Colorado game plan has utilized too many out patterns and slants – and opposing defensive coordinators are well versed in the Buffs’ game plan.

The middle of the field has been left undefended – and unattacked -by the Colorado offense.

Here’s hoping that will change in 2018 …


5 Replies to “In-Depth Depth Chart – Tight Ends”

  1. Proof of the pudding is in the eating! Got some talent at TE and Chiv recognizes that.

    Will be exciting to watch it unfold.

  2. more than a couple of the Buff’s PAC opponents use the tight end quite a bit and a couple have TEs that are expected to be drafted. If nothing else our back 8 need practice defending the tight ends as receivers.
    I wouldn’t be opposed to getting the first 2 wins without a tight end pass attempt and then use it to surprise the corn pone in strategic situations. Good thing Lingering isnt still here…..who can easily be blames for sleep walk play calling especially the red zone

  3. Welp the ol tight end dilemma

    Mickey and Lindy were okay in the Wac. Defense went from last to 2nd in his three years. Sounds familair eh. Offense middle of the road. Also sounds familiar.

    Yup tight end caught some passes in his last 2 years. Offense was okay in that now defunct league. So Bohn hired him. (He loved those lower division coaches and staffs and their kids) Uh Oh

    Anyway Chev is a genius. He has help. Lindy is not a genius. He didn’t want help.

    Just saying the O is gonna be so much better with …… know I like it………Addition by subtraction.



    NOTE: OSU has been at the bottom of the O in pac 12 games. Gonna still be there. Keep me updated………Especially on TE catches.

    Note2: As the first Flim Flam Man said………..”THIS AIN’T INTRAMURALS BROTHA…………..

    AND, To Lindy and Mickey………….THIS AIN’T THE WAC DUDES

  4. Keep me informed are your brother, Lindylu does. He be having a lot of excuses like you and blaming the players.

    So typical.


  5. Et tu Stu?

    I know. Lindgren gets the blame for most any offensive woe. I have an interesting side bet – who has more throws to TE’s this year, OSU or CU? I’ve no idea, that’s for you LaVark – but might put a beer on it, one way or another.

    Anyway, I really do think it was a personnel thing, more than a “I don’t believe in TE catching passes” thing, by Lindgren or anyone else.

    After all, at SJSU the same offensive brain trust, basically, had a decently successful TE, didn’t they?

    Either way, was great to see Bounds making plays last year. Here’s to hoping there’s more of that this year. Whether play calling, personnel, or a combination of the two. A good TE who is quick, can block, and catch, is another great thing to have.

    Go Buffs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *